From Black Friday to Cyber Monday: What are Your Holiday Shopping Plans This Year?

Editor’s note: This story and TV newscast first appeared in 2011. The reporter, George Jackson, now works in Washington, D.C. However, my “predictions” of Thanksgiving becoming more like a Sunday shopping experience appear to be proving true. This year stores are “jumping the gun” on Black Friday with an even earlier Thursday start. Will you be in the throng of bargain hunters? Do you agree with retailers working on Thanksgiving? I’d love to hear from you whatever your choice is.

Stores opened earlier than ever this year for Black Friday and a record $52.4 billion was spent over the long, four day weekend. 11 Connects News’ George Jackson caught up with MarketingMel the night before Thanksgiving, ironically in the parking lot at the local Mall where I was doing some shopping. George and I discussed the newest holiday shopping trends including the earliest shopping starts yet. Without a crystal ball but having read and watched some of the forecasted trends, I predicted that people will come to view the early start to Black Friday (or early end to Thanksgiving, depending on how you look at it) as consumers once viewed Sundays. What was at one time a sacred day to be home from work enjoying family will become just another day to shop (albeit with huge bargains!) With Cyber Monday coming on the heels of such a record breaking weekend we can only expect the spending trend to continue and that’s bound to put some zing into our economy.

I took an informal poll of my Facebook friends Wednesday evening prior to the interview and while the majority said they would not shop Black Friday several said they would be out there and early. One Facebook friend even posted a photo of herself camping out in order to take advantage of the specials. Did you shop Black Friday? Did you frequent a local establishment on Small Business Saturday or will you shop from the comfort of your office on Cyber Monday? Maybe you’re wondering what all the fuss is about since your shopping generally doesn’t start for several more weeks? Whatever your shopping habits, I’d love to have you share your stories with us here!



  • Bill Painter says:

    I have never been much of a shopper so I stayed at home and enjoyed time with Sue and some friends. We ventured out to eat, but stayed away from the malls.
    I feel that we did our part to boost the economy earlier this year with a new house and fixing it up. 🙂

    • maryellen says:

      Wow. A new house! And I thought we stimulated it with a new car purchase Black Friday weekend! Hey, we’re all doing our part, right Bill?

  • Black Friday and Chrisitmas Eve are the 2 days of the year that I refuse to go shopping (at least in a brick-and-mortar store). I don’t really like chaos and mayhem. Also, I can’t imagine camping out for anything. I’m of the mindset that my time is actually worth more than a few hundred dollars so spending hours in line for something I could easily buy the next day or online seems like a huge waste.

    I’m definitely more of a Cyber Monday girl. I think I single-handedly keep in business. 🙂 They save me lot’s of time, energy, and money.

  • Linda Pucci says:

    I was out of town and didn’t shop of Black Friday. In fact, other than a trip to the drug store for cold medicine, didn’t shop the weekend at all. But must admit I purchased some Kindle downloads on Cyber Monday. I’m with Tiffany. I’m not a big crowd person and the idea of camping out for a bargain is something I can’t imagine myself doing. Not a good ROI of my time (probably also why I don’t hold yard sales).

  • Sue Painter says:

    No Black Friday for me! Like Tiffany I’m a cyber-shopper. And the dealss this year didn’t seem all that great to me – lots of emails offering me a whopping 10% off. Yawn……

  • Jeff Brunson says:

    I left the retail portion of my career 25 years ago this year. And with it, I left venturing out of my house on that named Friday. This year, that sequestering was even more meaningful as our daughter and son-in-law drove down on T-day. Therefore, our Friday was Thanksgiving.

  • Sarah Rowan says:

    I would rather pay full price than to get in the mess and spend all that time! Don’t get a lot of time off with family in the first place, so like yours and many others, time is very valuable!

  • Looks like I was the only brave (albeit crazy) one to venture out on Black Friday. To my defense, it was only one place (Office Max) for one item (printer) and I was back home and in bed by 7:30 a.m. I believe there were more employees than shoppers in the store when I was there.

  • Bill Painter says:

    I don’t shop Black Friday. We ventured out Saturday with our house guests to one of the malls and was ppleasantly surprise d that the traffic was light and the crowds were thin.

  • Well a year has passed and I still don’t need or want anything bad enough to go shopping on Black Friday or Thanksgiving. I don’t even look at the ads.

    • maryellen says:

      Thanks for your response Tiffany. We looked at the ads but took part in our annual family/friends Christmas tree tradition instead!

  • Sue Painter says:

    I’m not a Black Friday shopper but I do admit to cyber-shopping, which certainly started well before tomorrow (Cyber Monday is dead, as far as I can see). As for crowds, I think the businesses that opened up on T-Day night and the day before with their specials took the fire out of Black Friday.

  • I have never gone black Friday shopping as an adult … until this year … and only because my daughter who’s 9 desperately wanted to see what the fuss was all about.

    I refused to go anywhere on Thanksgiving or in the middle of the night because I truly believe that corporate greed is crushing Thanksgiving and those employees deserve to be at home.

    But we did leave the boys at home and venture out Friday morning for hot chocolates at Starbucks and a little shopping. But we did it smartly!

    The Wall Street Journal reported that more than 60% of all advertised items on sale for Black Friday had been for sale cheaper at the same stores in the past three weeks … So we looked for things we needed on sale and stuck to our list!

    The whole family got new fleece pullovers and zip fronts, fleece hats, scarves, and gloves … and we saved $95! We needed them anyway for winter and I was thrilled. We also picked up photo collage frames I had been eyeing at Kohl’s for weeks … normally $50, picked them up for $20 each. And we got a few things for the family for Christmas that were on sale.

    We were only out for a few hours, we had fun, and then we spent the rest of the weekend relaxing at home and ALL of my shopping is now done thanks to Amazon 🙂

    Jennifer Bourn

    • maryellen says:

      Jennifer, thank you so much for recounting your story here. I like you, could not imagine leaving my family on Thanksgiving Day! We spent our Black Friday at a Christmas tree farm cutting down the tree and watching as *tons* of trees from there were shipped off to New York. So glad you did find some deals when you ventured out.

  • Mary Kaplan says:

    I’ve always avoided black Friday, and this year was no exception. The last few years I have gone shopping on the day before Thanksgiving and found the deals to be as good or better than the day after Thanksgiving. I find I am doing more and more of my shopping online. It is convenient and if I wait until I need a few items I can usually avoid shipping charges. I like the idea of local shopping if possible to support the small local business owners.

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